4 independent reviews for Mekong adventure holiday, Laos & Cambodia

Reviews for Mekong adventure holiday, Laos & Cambodia

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review 21 Jan 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So much that was memorable. Climbing up and down vertiginous uneven stone ascents and rock climbing in caves (sans handrails) on my 72nd birthday probably the most exciting! Wonderful architecture from the 8th century onwards, getting to know our guides so well, sharing walks, meals and talking and learning about local history/way of life probably the defining characteristic. Loved the islands and associated boat rides. Moved and shocked by the landmine museum (not on the itinerary but route changed to facilitate a visit when we requested it) and the unexploded bombs NGO exhibition (can't remember it's name) shocking eye-openers. More bombs dropped on a country not at war than in the whole of the 2nd world war by all parties! And some delicious food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You need a reasonable sense of balance/head for heights and level of sure footedness to get the best out of temples and scrambling in and out of boats and over rocks. The guides did it sandals and slippers, of course! Some of the food markets might challenge the squeamish. Make the most of the guides (and drivers, when they spoke English). They were really interesting, knowledgeable characters. Be prepared for some long drives, now and then, and don't assume that showers always provide much volume of warm water. Being totally clean all of the time over-rated!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Main environmental concern - use of small plastic bottles of water. We averaged at least 2/ 3 a day each! Unsure of the way round it. They were selling/you could take your own container (which I wish I'd done) but you'd still need to get the water from larger water bottles. So it felt that we were doing harm. We spent money in small communities, made donations to ordinance clearing and bear rescue charities, and provided temporary employment for 7/8 people, and I doubt the hotels in which we stayed were owned by multi-nationals. Tourism is a major source of income in both Laos and Cambodia. But balancing the benefits/costs? That's hard.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a great holiday. Would travel with this operator again. But I hate doing stars! So as nothing is perfect, 4.

review 29 May 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The scenery and seeing the country away from the usual tourist trail. Following the Mekong gave the theme to the journey through the country and meant we saw different aspects of the country.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't expect 5 star accommodation and comfort but getting away from that is part of the experience - everything is of a good standard albeit in some places a bit more basic.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - the approach was to engage local people not just stare at them - we saw investment in communities and were able to contribute and donate in a positive way - Mines Action Group for example.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The tour exceeded my expectation, we saw amazing parts of the country without the usual tourist trail with packed days at a doable pace that allowed the tour group to dwell on the points of interest to them. I truly think that this is the best tour I have been on, not just because of the amazing country and their people but because of the management and tour approach. I would recommend it as a must do if you love Asia.

review 15 Dec 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Canoeing on the Mekong and watching the river dolphins.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

As we were the only people on the tour for 75% of the time I felt that we probably didn't reduce environmental impacts considering the distance we covered.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Amazing. Some of the hotels were out of this world. The people of Laos were friendly and the guides very helpful. We had some great experiences.

review 24 Nov 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Every day was something different, we walked through jungle; rode elephants; explored caves and sailed in wooden boats, sometimes we used a wooden plank, sometimes we were knee deep in the river! We saw amazing temples and wooden huts that the locals lived in, we saw how people lived and how they dried peppers in their satellite dishes! There were sad parts too, understanding the legacy of the Vietnam war, unexploded bombs everywhere and maimed people. However, the people were great fun, as curious about us as we were about them.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

This was our first trip to S.E. Asia, so we were unsure about what to expect. The hotels were all ok or good, with showers and proper toilets, but when you are out and about it's mainly squat toilets. The guides and drivers wouldn't let us carry our bags, the staff in all the hotels were all helpful and the guides couldn't do enough to help. Everything was well organised, and the guides and transport were always on time. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday? Just book it, and have an amazing time, we did!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The guides used local restaurants, transport and services, so it looks like most of our money went into the local economy. It didn't feel like a normal corporate style package holiday, there was time to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of local markets.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Brilliant.....we're planning the next trip!

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